David Warner’s return to cricket action later this month was confirmed after Winnipeg Hawks drafted him in the third round ahead of the inaugural Global T20 Canada league.
Warner follows Steve Smith to Canada, the former Australia captain being drafted by Toronto Nationals a little over a week ago.
Both Warner and Smith are currently serving 12-month bans handed to them by Cricket Australia following their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal that erupted in March. They were also stripped of their leadership roles in the team.
When Smith and Warner, the former captain and vice-captain of the side, take the field in Canada, it will mark their first bit of cricket action since the incident in Cape Town.
The tournament is a six-team affair – five teams from Canada, along with a Cricket West Indies representative side – and will run from June 22 to July 16, including play-offs and the final.
At Winnipeg, Warner will join the likes of West Indians Darren and Dwayne Bravo, South Africa’s David Miller, and fellow Australian Ben McDermott. Smith will have the likes of Kieron Pollard and Darren Sammy for company at Toronto Nationals.
Smith, Warner and Cameron Bancroft, the third player sanctioned after the incident, are barred from playing international and first-class cricket, but they have been encouraged to play grade cricket and are free to take part in Twenty20 leagues the world over. They are also free to train with their state sides.
To that end, they all have plans locked in place to return to the sport. Warner, on Monday, posted on Instagram a picture of himself, along with former Test players Peter Nevill and Steve O’Keefe, preparing for a two-kilometre run after returning to the New South Wales set up.
He is also set to play a part of the grade cricket season with Sydney-based Randwick Petersham, and has signed up to play in Northern Territory Cricket’s Strike League, which includes both Twenty20 and one-day games in Darwin, along with Bancroft, who will play grade cricket in Western Australia’s Premier Cricket league.
Smith is expected to turn out for Sutherland, another Sydney-based grade cricket side, and has been spotted training indoors at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Smith was also recently a special guest at a school Sydney, where he spoke to students about his work with a mental health charitable institution.